Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Beach House!

This weekend begins round two of time away from Turlock. January has been a very busy month for us...mainly me. I have committed to make up to my family for all the time away in 08, by getting some things done...sprinkle in a little work and I am away from Church for 4 out of 5 weekends.

This particular weekend we are at my Dad's house in Aptos. We are here to hang out and to go to the beach and to visit some elephant seals.

This trip is purposely for the boys. No schedules, no plans just hanging out with them doing what ever they want to do. This will include missing the Superbowl so that we can go visit the elephant seals.

Have a wonderful weekend and we will see you next week.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Funny Friday Fun

Every Friday I post a video that is funny or fun or just plain enjoyable to watch. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is meant to be something enjoyable, if you don't find it funny or enjoyable, then please turn it off.
I didn't make them, I simply shared them. Chill out a bit will ya!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tony Morgan Interview

As you know from last week, I had an opportunity to interview Tony Morgan last Thursday. I apologize for taking so long to get the interview update up on the site but I had a crazy week.

I followed the recommendations of another leader who gave some Do's and Don'ts on interviewing leaders. I wish I could remember who it was and if I do, I will update. Basically, I kept the interview to exactly the agreed upon 30 minutes, I made sure and had a list of questions that far exceeded our time, so as not to run out of questions and lastly kept focused on the written questions so that we didn't get off track. I also sent the questions to Tony the day before so that he had a chance to scan them over before our meeting which allowed us to cover more questions than normal...I think.

Here are a few of the questions that, for me, were most impactful. Of course, I was wanting to interview him for a very specific purpose. I wanted to discuss his transition from Government employment to full-time ministry employment and see what knowledge I might pick up as I prepare for that transition.

Jason: What qualities was Granger looking for in you when they sought to bring you on staff?

Tony: Well, I am not sure I know. I will answer that by telling you what qualities we looked for in staff both at Granger and here at NewSpring. We look for 4 key traits:
  • How is there walk with Christ.
  • What is their connection with NewSpring and do they believe in what we are doing?
  • We are looking for people to Lead Ministry, not do ministry. Can they influence people?
  • Do we actually like them?
Jason: As you "transferred" into full-time ministry, what was the hardest difference to overcome?

Tony: My influence with people outside the church and my ability to share the Gospel with them dwindled. Now, most of my influence is through other people and their ministries. I wasn't prepared for this.

Jason: A multi-state move has great impact on your family and children both in the decision-making process and in the actually move itself. What were some of the things (aside from prayer and time with God) that you and your wife had to work through in making this decision?

Tony: The key issue for us was to determine what was best for the family. Was it healthier to stay where we were with existing friends, or was it healthier for the family to experience a significant move where we had an opportunity to meet new friends. In the end, we felt that if our children had an opportunity to experience a significant move in their young lives and see God's presence and how He worked through it, we felt would help them grow more in their walk and obedience in Christ as adults later in life.

In the end, Tony had a chance to answer about 23 of my 28 questions. Tony was very candid in his answers and I felt he was truly engaged in the questions I had. I walked away feeling like he got it. He clearly sees that God can and is using him outside the 4 walls of NewSpring and for guys like me...thank you! Thank you for making yourself available for the Kingdom mission!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One Crazy Week

Well, it has been a crazy week yet again.

As some of you know, I broke the transmission in the Jeep and so I have been without. This last Saturday while I was towing the Jeep to someone who was going to work on it, the transmission started going out in my wife's Yukon.

Well, yesterday I took the Yukon to a transmission shop and they said nothing was wrong. I took it to a mechanic today and he gave it a tune-up....good as new!

In addition, I got a call on my Jeep and the guy told me he had a buddy who just offered me a transmission out of his Jeep that is better and stronger than my current one and he is going to sell it to me for the same price it will cost me to repair my transmission.

As I sat back tonight I couldn't help but laugh. You see, normally I get pretty uptight and tense with vehicle problems. We drive older vehicles because they are paid for...but sometimes the repair costs can be large. Yet, with the current series we are in and with having read through Malachi a lot recently I sat back a week ago and told God that I was not going to stress. These are his cars and he could do with them as he pleases but that he would have to provide the money to fix them.

Well, be careful what you wish for...that is exactly what God did. He has provided the extra income and kept the costs to a point where it is all paid for with cash and sometime next week we will be back to normal.

Thank you God!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Funny Friday Fun

Every Friday I post a video that is funny or fun or just plain enjoyable to watch. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is meant to be something enjoyable, if you don't find it funny or enjoyable, then please turn it off.
I didn't make them, I simply shared them. Chill out a bit will ya!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Side Salad Anyone?

Last night was my routine night out, while Autumn and the kids are in Awanas. I decided to grab a quick bite and head straight to St. Arbucks to do my study time. One of the things I grabbed with my meal was a side salad.

The salad was very well prepared with a plastic lid. The lid did an amazing job of protecting the salad and keeping outside things from getting in. The problem, is that it took me forever to get the lid off. I was afraid to pull to hard, in fear of the "potato chip" effect. You know when you open a bag of chips to hard and they go flying everywhere. So, I continued to try with minimal effort in order to get the lid off.

Finally, I got the lid off and was able to enjoy my salad.

It got me thinking, though. How many churches operate in the same way? They work so hard to protect the contents inside, that they forget to make it easy for outsiders to get in.

I was perusing this guy's blog last night looking at posts from the past and it amazes me how much criticism there is towards mega-churches or fast growing churches. The reality is we should be looking closely at their processes. It is clear that they have found away to successfully protect the contents, without creating a barrier for outsiders wanting in.

Take a your lid on too tight?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

See ya Facebook!

Well, I finally got fed up enough to tell Facebook goodbye. What started as a simple interface that someone sent me has grown out of control. The distraction to constantly seek out acceptance from people I don't even care about has drove me batty.

Yet, I can't not accept those people because who am I to think I am better then them that I can't accept them as my friend. Although, I really don't want to be there friend...or do I?

We are left in an unusual predicament. So what does one do.


The problem is gone. No more do I have to struggle with the fact that my friend has more friends then me. I don't have to worry about what my friend had for dinner last night, or whether their kid past the first grade spelling bee.

I am free!

P.S. To those of you who are my real friends, I was not talking about you, of course.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Did I mention?

Did I mention that I have an opportunity to interview this guy on Thursday morning. For some reason, maybe the alignment of the moons over Jupiter, Tony has taken time out of his busy schedule to give me 30 minutes to ask him as many questions as I can.

That sounds great, doesn't it?

Of Course, now I have to figure out what intelligent, non-repetitive questions I can ask him without sounding stupid. So why Tony Morgan?

Tony, as I currently understand it, did not train for ministry like typical Pastors, and entered ministry from the government sector. I am interested in specifically how the transition went, what worked, what short comings did he have to make up, what strengths were perceived threats to the church staff, etc.

As I have mentioned in the past about my desire to enter into full-time ministry I am hoping that the in site I can pick up from Tony will help me with that transition in my own life.

So, any intelligent questions you can think of, let me know by Wednesday night!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fed Up!

Well, I never thought the day would come, but I have finally gotten fed up with Microsoft. That is right! I am a die-hard PC guy, but I am getting fed up with Microsoft.

I have already switched to FireFox for my browser, and have been extremely happy. There are many great add-ons that make my surfing experience much easier.

The final steps have been holding out on Microsoft Outlook. Today I flushed it. After reading a blogger over and over talk about how great Google Apps and Google Mail is, I started experimenting with it. Well, today I made the switch and I don't plan on looking back.

There are a few things different but so far, it is really nice. Not to mention it is all online so thanks to that, and technology like IMAP I can keep my mail synced no matter where I am at or what I am using.

Finally, if my wife switches, then we can have shared calendars and don't have to set-up a Microsoft Exchange server. Great stuff.

So, if you are like me and what smooth, easy operation, make the switch and get away from Microsoft.

Now, if I can just find away to dump Vista! (and no I am not going to Linux so don't offer!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


For the two of you left that still haven't removed my blog from your reader, that after my blogs last week, I came to a point where I felt really defeated.

I entered last week excited for the new year and began thinking about how/what my goals should be for this year. As I really started to look back at what I had accomplished this last year, I really only saw the things I didn't accomplish because of it.

I felt like I let my family down. I let my job down. I let God down. I started to feel defeated.

Then I listened to a great message here from Perry Noble. Then I read his blog post here. I began to put together the puzzle pieces and making sense of it all. I really am feeling like I have placed so much focus on the things that I am doing that I have forgotten to focus on the things that I am. Further, that I am so fearful of not doing the right things that I am preventing myself from doing the right things. Perry Noble makes this comment in his post,

"If I make it my passion to fear Him [God] alone…then NOTHING can stand in the way of what He has called me to do…but if I allow ANY other fear to control me then I will remain paralyzed and powerless in life and ministry."

So, what does that mean? It means that I need to get more God in my life and less authors in my life. I need to get more Spiritual leadership in my life and less complacency. It means a lot of things, all of which I still have to sort out.

As I sort through these things, I will begin to open them up with you here and hopefully together we can grow in Christ. However, let me leave you with this: Do not sacrifice at the alter just to say you sacrificed!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Free Web Conference

Would you like to attend and listen to one of the greatest Pastor's leading today?

Today's technology is amazing. Thanks to technology, I was able to watch Perry Noble and Tony Morgan do a webcast for about 45 minutes answering questions from viewers.

It was a very insiteful time and a very effective use of my time. I could make 45 minutes every week to watch something like this. It is quick, focused and you get a lot of bits that you can chew on.

Let me encourage you to visit Tony's website and you can watch the replay of today's webcast. Well worth the 45 minutes.

Here's the link:

Check it out!

REPLAY. Lot's Life Goals

I was praying and studying over my goals for 2009 and was re-reading a post I did last January about Lot and his goals. I really liked it, and it gave me some great motivation for continuing to plan for 2009. I thought I would share it again. I hope you enjoy:

I have been studying in Genesis this month as I begin my study through the Bible. I am studying through the Daily Walk Bible.

As I started my study this morning, the lead-in text talked about Lot's goals that he used to shape his life. Currently, we are all(or most) at a point where we are reflecting back over 2007 and thinking about our "performance" and trying to decide where we need to go. After much time, I have finally put together my goals.

There are a lot of people who question why we should have goals, or even worry about things like that...some of you may even think that way. The reality is, I really couldn't give you a great answer. I just knew it was something that worked for me. Then when I came across the list of goals for Lot, it all made sense and cleared up what I knew all along, but couldn't put into words.

Here is Lot's goals according to my Daily Bible:

  • To lose all sense of moral values.
  • To forfeit all spiritual authority in my home.
  • To exert no influence for good in my community.
  • To lose everyone and everything dear to me.
  • To lead my family so far from God, that my own daughters get me drunk so that I will "lay with them" (added by me for purpose).

I know, these are not what you were expecting to hear. My bible went on to say this:

"Ridiculous, you say? Then consider this: Lot set no such goals, yet he accomplished everything on that list! Those unwritten goals simply became the consequences of his worldly choices."

Let me put it another way... You can either choose the direction you WANT your life to go, or wait and see where you end up. That to me is the number one reason to set goals. I have seen how bad I have screwed up in the past, so if I wait to see what happens this year, it won't be pretty.

Lot had no specific spiritual goals in his life to direct his actions, and as a result his spiritual walk is lukewarm at best, he loses his wife and he commits incest with his daughters. We are setting ourselves up to be just like Lot if we don't focus on the direction our life is going. We need to take command of our lives.

Pastor Dave preached on sunday that we cannot sit back and wait for someone to feed us. We have to feed ourselves. The church can provide the food, but we have to pick it up and eat it. Our life is controlled by us. I believe that our goals are the road map by which we do that.

What do you want to accomplish this year? How are you going to grow in God's word? Memorize scripture. Read through the Bible. How are you going to improve your prayer life? What are you going to do to work on your marriage? What are you doing to develop your children?

Develop your goals and write them down. Put them on paper so it is crystal clear, there is no wavering, no bouncing around. Post them in the bathroom, on your desk, in your car, what ever you need to do to make those the focus of your day...every day.

Write them down, share them with everybody, and ask to be held accountable!

You can map your path now and get there on time, or you can can wait until you are lost, and then pray there is someone around to help you find your way....the choice is yours!

Have you made some Revolutionary Goals for 2008? I would love to hear them!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Well, 2008 has come and gone and it is time to begin looking at 2009. However, I think that it is important to take a few minutes to look back over the year and evaluate.

Evaluate what went well.

Evaluate what went bad.

Evaluate what didn't even get looked at.

As we begin to review the past, we can learn from and plan for the future. At least I think that is how it is supposed to go. So, I thought I would take a few minutes and review my goals from 2008:

2008 Revolutionary Goals

Goal #1 - Read through the entire Bible: This went pretty well. A few glitches along the way, but I learned quite a bit. It is really interesting reading the Bible from front to back. You begin to see prophecy better and begin to see how books tie together. It was definitely something worth doing.

Goal #2 - Read 12 books: I was successful, and enjoyed every bit of it! Here is what I read:
Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli
Help I'm Married to a Homeschooling Mom by Todd Wilson
Before You Hit the Wall by Danny Lehmann
The Familyman's Bathroom Book of Fathering by Todd Wilson
Pop Goes the Church by Tim Stevens
The Multi-site Church Revolution by Geoff Surratt, et. al.
The Big Idea by Dave Ferguson, et. al.
I was Broke, Now I'm Not by Joseph Sangl
Blue Prints, How to Build Godly Relationships by Perry Noble
Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson
Making Vision Stick by Andy Stanley
Searching For God Knows What by Donald Miller
The Shack by William P. YoungReading
The Daily Walk Bible NIV by God (ok rewritten by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries)

Goal #3 - 10 things I have never done before: Another successful goal, and I hope this is something that continues, even if I don't make a goal of it. Here is what I did:

1. ATV riding in the snow.
2. 7.5 mile hike in 1 day...and walked away from it!
3. Fly a kite with my boys.
4. Took Jordan to Ice Hockey Game.
5. Hawaii with Autumn and Boys.
6. Snorkeling in Maui.
7. Autumn and I went wine tasting in Napa.
8. Built a Sand Castle on the beach with my boys.
9. Took Austin to build a "Build-A-Bear". (probably for the last time those things are pricey!)
10. Took my family to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Goal #4 - Committed Spiritual Leader: This is probably the goal that I failed the most at. My hope was not to just be a Godly man or leader of my home, but rather to engage my wife and kids in the study of the Word and in helping to grow their relationships with God. I realize that I did this to some example through my leadership, but that wasn't the goal. This will definitely be something to focus on for 2009.

Goal #5 - Say "WOW" on 1/1/2009: OK. I definitely said "WOW" on 1/1/2009. I must admit, though, it was not for what I was expecting (or hoping) that it would be for. I had all these ideas of how 2008 was going to go and how I could respond at the end of the year. It went nothing like I planned, and it amazed me even more to see how God worked through it all... Wow!

Well, there you have it. My 2008 Revolutionary Goal Summary...have you started working on your goals yet? Start looking for more on my goals this week and next!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Going Dark

Have you heard the expression "going dark" before?

It is really common in the theater referring to a night off, or a time when the theater isn't performing.

For me, and many others, going dark refers to shutting down technology or many other things.

In my case, I shut down in stages. I went dark on my blog for most of December (except for my funny Fridays). This was mainly due to the hectic schedule of co-producing BTLOG with my friend Steven Dougherty.

However, after Christmas, I went completely dark for 5 days. That meant no cell phone, no email, no facebook, no internet, no home phone. My family and I snuck away to the cabin for the week where I couldn't be found.

It was a wonderful experience and a great time to unwind and hang with the family.

Yet, I am glad to be back and ready to get back in the groove. You can begin looking for some great new blog posts this week. I am wrapping up my 2008 year of Revolutionary Goals and will begin discussing my 2009 goals as I develop them.

As well as, we are embarking on 3 services starting tomorrow. I am sure I will have lots to say about that!